There you can see several multicolor dark swirl beads, those will go up on etsy tomorrow, and some test beads for spring inspired color combinations, using turquoise,purple and some raku frit. I made some more today using lime green,a more greenish turquoise and again some purple,
can't wait to see tomorrow morning how they turned out...
As you can see in the picture I always make 2 beads on the same mandrel if they are small beads. This way it is easier to get them the same size and the mandrel gets used more effectively. I hate dipping and cleaning mandrels!!!
Sometimes, the release is to thick, sometimes to watery, then it drips of the mandrel and the coating is irregular. Depending on the release, there are some beads that don't want to come off and I have to bend the mandrel and get blisters on my fingers before the bead comes off.
The next dayI forget about the bent mandrel, dip it again and next time I make beads, the mandrel does not rotate smoothly and the bead gets wonky... so I keep trying out each new bead release that comes on the market.
So far, I have 3 favorites. The pink slipper release is great if you want to get transparent bead holes but it does come off a little hard and is best soaked for several hours in soapy water. It stays nice in the consistence and does not get lumpy.
Second is bucket of mud : great for transparent bead holes too, but it has the same problems to let the beads go ;-)....soaking for hours is the solution.
When you make opaque beads and the bead hole does not matter, then, in my humble opinion, the best of the best is the bead separator by Fusion. It has a nice consistence, can be flame-dried without cracking and the beads come off very easy.
For these beads I showed today I used the bead separator.